So, while I never like to assume anything or get too excited about things and then end up being let down, I have to say that the first month of 2016 has started out very positive and active for me. So many things have happened in the past month alone, and other things are in the midst of happening right now. A writer that I respect wrote an entire article for The Huffington Post, all about my blog and how my writing has influenced her. The fall-out from my McFallen viral video turned into another article, this one for BUSTLE magazine, who did a feature story on me as a performer. This weekend, I will be participating as an actor in a Short Film Festival/Contest. Next week, I will be flying out to Los Angeles to shoot a film I was recently cast in. In March, I will be giving my comedic presentation for the 8th time, I believe, at Camp Widow. I am finally starting to get a name for myself in this industry, very slowly, but its happening. There is a lot of changing and shifting going on in my world, and for me, that is a very frightening place to be, yet it is also quite wonderful and exciting.
And yet, right smack in the middle of where my excitement should be, sits a big gaping wound screaming: “This sucks.”
After we fell in love, my husband Don picked up every piece of his life in Florida, put it in a Penske truck, and drove it to New Jersey to start a new life with me. He did this because he loved me, and more importantly, because he truly believed in my dreams, my talents, and my ability to make them happen one day. He sacrificed EVERYTHING for me, leaving behind his friends, his mom, his job that he loved, and his outdoor Florida lifestyle that he couldn’t continue up north.
The almost seven years that we spent together in New Jersey, first engaged, then married, were very happy times. We were very much in love, and we just loved being together and loved each others company. But we were struggling. Money was always very tight. We shared his beat up car, and we rented a crappy, run down apartment, dreaming out loud together of a future where we could move somewhere better. Don used to joke that he would work his ass off now, and then sponge off of me once I finally became famous. The last year of his life, he had picked up a second job in addition to being an EMT, specifically so that we could better our lives, move to a nicer place one day soon, and maybe start a family. When we were together, acting and writing and comedy gigs were few and far between for me. He never got to see me REALLY succeed. He only got to watch us struggle.
Just thinking about that now makes me cry. It also makes me want to scream. I want to scream like a child and throw a tantrum about how UNFAIR it is that my husband sacrificed so much for MY dreams, and then didnt have the chance to see any of them begin to form into reality. Every single time something good happens for me in my career, no matter how small it may seem, I feel that tinge of hurt that Don cannot be here and be part of it. And yes, I know he IS part of everything I do going forward, but thats not even close to the same thing, dammit.
The other thing that is upsetting to me, is that my husband was born in Whittier, California – and he hadn’t been back to the Los Angeles area since he grew up there as a kid. We always said that one day soon we would go there together, and he would show me the neighborhoods he grew up in, and show me his life back then. We were supposed to take a trip there together. I promised to bring him “back home”, and just the idea of going back there to see it again excited him. He really liked it there, and very much wanted to go back. Now, in one week, I will be flying there alone, to film a movie, something he would have been doing WITH ME. A trip he would have taken WITH me. He would have gotten such a kick out of hanging out on the movie set while I acted, or even just sitting in the hotel and making comments about how proud he was of me and how he cant wait to live off my riches and fame. And we would have rented a car and driven out to Whittier together, so I could bring him back home.
Instead, I will be taking some of his ashes with me, and finding a way to get out there myself, and finally bring him home – in the only way that is now possible. Nothing makes me sadder, and nothing about that is fair. He should be experiencing all of this with me. He is the one who got me here. He is the reason I could DO this at all, because of all those times he worked MORE so I could go on that audition or do that non-paying stand-up show for exposure. And really, what good is a dream, if you have nobody to share it with? At the end of the day, all of these exciting things that are starting to happen in my life – they all end the same way. Me, alone, in my apartment, with nobody to share my day’s experiences with. And even if I were to find love one day, it will NEVER be okay with me that Don is not here for THIS. He deserves to be here for this. This was OUR dream. It was our vision. It was about US, and no matter how ecstatic I am or will become over the really cool things that hopefully keep coming my way, that biting and stabbing sadness remains. And it always, always will.